I gave a brief rundown on isekai stories last week. This week I’d like to talk about verbal tics.What is a verbal tic? Well, it’s a word or a phrase that characters repeat excessively whenever they talk. Some people in real life do have verbal tics, but it seems anime characters go above and beyond with the stuff they say.
I think a memorable example would be Tsukimiya Ayu from Kanon. Her tendency to tack on “uguu” after every sentence is legendary. Hell, uguu can stand on its own. Kanon is an older show by now, but I am pretty sure most people know about the origins of uguu.
However, sometimes characters do have reasons for their verbal tics. For example, Ryuumonbuchi Touka (from Saki) ends many of her statements and sentences and exclamations with “desu wa,” desu wa. However, Touka is an Ojou, a wealthy upper-class lady. Such refined ladies tend to overemphasize the feminine particle, “wa,” which partially explains Touka’s desu wa.
Also from the same series, Touyoko Momoko ends her sentences with “~su,” which is considered to be a childish speech pattern. However, this, too, makes sense when you consider Momo’s backstory. Momo’s presence started fading as a child, which led to her to stop communication with others and consequently left her verbal communication skills underdeveloped.
There’s just so many verbal tics anime character use, to be honest. They may not all be captured by subtitles, but if you pay attention to the VA, you’ll hear the quirky add-ons.
What do you think? Are verbal tics charming? Are they annoying?
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